Operational History and Background
The squadron first formed in April 1941 at Lee-on-Solent as an Albacore torpedo spotter reconnaissance squadron.

In August 1941 the squadron embarked on HMS Victorious attacking shipping off the Lofoten islands and Bodo in September and October 1941.

In February 1942 the CO L/C AJP Plugge RN and his crew were lost whilst searching for enemy shipping off Norway, and the following month the squadron was involved in Arctic convoys to Russia and in an unsuccessful attack on the German battleship Tirpitz.

9 March 1942 four 4 Fairey Albacores of 832 Squadron, from HMS Victorious, emerged from the cloud abeam of Tirpitz (in foreground) and the destroyer Friedrich Ihn (in the background) and began to dive to an immediate attack.

The 832 squadron Albacores attack the Tirpitz , with splashes from 105mm,
37mm and 20mm projectiles hitting the water well short of the target.

At 0640 on 9 March 1942 the Commander-in-Chief Admiral Tovey ordered Victorious to fly off a reconnaissance force of 6 Albacores on a diverging search between 105° and 155° to a depth of 150 miles to search for the Tirpitz during Convoy PQ12. 50 minutes later a strike force of 12 torpedo-carrying Albacores under the command of Lt Cdr W. J. Lucas, was flown off behind them. The orders to the strike force were to make a course of 135° and to act on any intercepted enemy reports. At 0802 on 9 March 1942 Albacore coded "F" sighted Tirpitz with the destroyer Friedrich Ihn in company and made a report. Four 4 Fairey Albacores of 832 Squadron, from HMS Victorious, emerged from the cloud abeam of Tirpitz and the destroyer Friedrich Ihn and began to dive to an immediate attack. The third of the Albacores was attacked and the navigator wounded by cannon fire although the Albacore made a successful return to Victorious. At 0917 on 9 March 1942 Tirpitz was attacked by the strike force of 12 torpedo-carrying Albacores under the command of  Lieutenant-Commander W. J. Lucas from the aircraft carrier Victorious. The attack failed and 2 Albacores was shot down. Undamaged, Tirpitz continued at full speed for the shelter of Vestfjord/Bogenfjord, where she arrived later the same day, while the remaining Albacores returned to Victorious.

In July 1942 the ship was involved in the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta, and in October took part in the landings in North Africa, when the squadron attacked targets in Algiers.

In December 1942 the squadron embarked on HMS Victorious for Norfolk, Virginia, USA where it was re-equipped with 12 US Navy Avenger TBF-Is and sailed for the Coral Sea area.

In June 1943 the squadron embarked on USS Saratoga to support the landings in the Solomon islands, rejoining HMS Victorious in July 1943 returning to Hatston in September where it was re-equipped with 12 Avenger Is for strikes against enemy shipping.
In January 1944, the squadron was augmented by 4 Wildcat Vs of 1832 squadron, embarking in February 1944 in HMS Athene and HMS Engadine for Katukurunda, Ceylon in April 1944.

In May 1944, the squadron joined HMS Illustrious for an attack on Sourabaya, subsequently transferring to HMS Begum for trade protection duties in the Pacific ocean until the squadron was disbanded in February 1945 in the UK.

Battle Honours
Malta Convoys 1942, North Africa 1942, Arctic 1942

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C AJP Plugge, RN April 1941-Feb 1942
  • L/C WJ Lucas, RN Feb 1942-Nov 1942
  • L/C(A) FKA Low, RN Nov 1942-Oct 1944
  • L/C(A) J Randall, RNVR Oct 1944-Feb 1945
  • Aircraft
  • Albacore I April 1941-Dec 1942
  • Avenger TBF-1 Jan 1943-Nov 1943
  • Avenger I Sept 1943-Oct 1944
  • Wildcat V Jan 1944-Jan 1945
  • Ships and Squadron bases
    To be listed
    The Squadron Today
    Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information

    Associations and Reunions
    No information

    World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway American based World Aircraft Carrier Lists & Photo Gallery - one of the definitive online sources for British and world aircraft carrier & seaplane tender data, histories and images - over 1000 photos. 
    Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T  (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8  
    Robert Horsten's FAA
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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